Lieutenant governor talking to Florida Marlins about Oklahoma

Thursday, February 16th 2006, 12:38 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she has had preliminary discussions with officials of National League baseball's Florida Marlins about the possibility of relocating to Oklahoma City.

"It's all very preliminary, but I have received some good feedback from the Marlins," Fallin said in a statement.

The owner of the Marlins, Jeff Loria, is the former owner of the old Oklahoma City 89ers AAA baseball team.

Fallin said she wrote to Marlins President David Sampson last November after seeing reports that the team was considering leaving the Miami area after local government leaders expressed reluctance about offering public funding for a new stadium.

She said she has spoken by telephone several times to with Marlins Vice Chairman Joel Mael and sent Marlins' officials a packet of economic development and demographic information about central Oklahoma.

"The Marlins have asked for some more detailed information, and we are working to put that together for them," she said. "I will bringing Chamber of Commerce and local and state government leaders together very soon to begin that process.

"Obviously, one strong sales point has been the tremendous success of the NBA Hornets in Oklahoma City this season. We are suddenly on the map for big league sports."